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See also: school-marm



From school +‎ marm (madam).


  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈskulˌmɑɹm/
  • (file)


schoolmarm (plural schoolmarms)

  1. (US, slang) A woman who is a teacher, especially a teacher in a schoolhouse; may carry the connotation she is severe and/or a spinster.
    • 2013, Josh Rountree; Lon Prater, Alamo Rising:
      The schoolmarm came to an abrupt stop in her arithmetic quizzing, her face set into a pruny scowl that looked to be permanent.
  2. (by extension) A person, of any gender, who exhibits characteristics attributed to schoolteachers of the old times, such as strict enforcement of arbitrary rules.
    • 1941, Herman J. Mankiewicz; Orson Welles, Citizen Kane, RKO Radio Pictures, spoken by Jedediah Leland (Joseph Cotten):
      Bernstein, am I a stuffed shirt? Am I a horse-faced hypocrite? Am I a New England school marm?
  3. (forestry) A tree with two or more trunks; a forked tree.